28-year old point guard Bobby Brown (188-PG-84) had a very impressive game in the last round for Montepaschi and receives a Eurobasket.com Player of the Week award for round 5. He had the game-high 27 points adding seven assists for Montepaschi in his team's victory, helping them to outclass Asseco Prok. (#6, 1-4) with 35-point margin 101-66. Montepaschi maintains the 4th position in Euroleague group B. Montepaschi is rather a weak team placed in lower part in the standings. They need more victories to improve their 2-3 record. In the team's last game Brown had a remarkable six three-pointers out of 9 attempts. He turned to be Montepaschi's top player in his first season with the team. California State University, Fullerton graduate has very impressive stats this year. Brown is league's best scorer averaging so far 20.8ppg. Brown is in league's top in assists (7th best: 5.2apg) and averages solid 47.2% from behind 3-point line.
Second best performed player last round was Blake Schilb (200-G/F-83, agency: Z.A.G. - Law Offices) of Chalon. He is American swingman in his 4th season at Chalon. In the last game Schilb recorded impressive 24 points, 6 rebounds and 4 assists. Bad luck as Chalon lost that game 78-88 to the higher-ranked Unicaja (#2, 4-1). This loss caused Chalon to drop to 5th position in group B. 4 lost games are too many comparing to just one victory Chalon managed to get this year. Schilb is one of the most experienced players at Chalon and has a reputation of one of team's most reliable players.
Third place about best performers goes to forward Semih Erden (211-F/C-86) of league's second-best Anadolu Efes. Erden scored 20 points and grabbed six rebounds. Despite Erden's great performance Anadolu Efes lost 64-77 to #1 ranked Zalgiris. But his team cannot count on just a single player as he also needs help of the other teammates especially in such crucial game. The last thing Anadolu Efes needs is to lose another game like this one. They lose more and more distance to the top teams in group C. Their record is 3 victories and 2 lost games. Erden has a very solid season. In 5 games in Euroleague he scored 10.4ppg.
Other top performing players last week: 4. Curtis Jerrells (185-G-87) of Besiktas - 25 points, 7 rebounds and 3 assists 5. Djordje Gagic (210-C-90) of Partizan - 17 points and 7 rebounds 6. Miro Bilan (215-C-89) of Cedevita - 16 points and 5 rebounds 7. Dylan Page (204-F-82) of Union Olimpija - 22 points, 3 rebounds and 2 assists 8. Ioannis Bourousis (213-C-83) of EA7 Armani - 16 points and 9 rebounds 9. Vassilis Spanoulis (193-G-82) of Olympiacos - 23 points, 2 rebounds and 9 assists 10. Marco Cusin (210-C-85) of Cantu - 15 points and 6 rebounds
The Player of the week is chosen based on efficiency calculation, but also including game result, importance of the game, if played recorded double-double/triple-double, etc. The efficiency formula is a combination of various formulas used by different basketball organizations/leagues. We got involved many basketball scouts and journalists to assure it's accuracy. The formula: 1.5*PTS + 3* (REB+AST+ST+BL-TO) - 2*BSAG - 4*PF + 3*PFRV + 4* (2FGPM+3FGPM) + 1.5*FTM - 3* (2FGPA-2FGPM) - 3* (3FGPA-3FGPM) - (FTA-FTM)
The Bartzokas case in Barcelona: You've lost that lovin' feelin'.. - 1 day ago
You've lost that lovin' feelin'.. By Dimitris Katsionis on 13 February 2017 The greatest triumphs of propaganda have been achieved not by acting, but by omitting. Truth is important, but, from a practical viewpoint, hiding the truth is even more so.The Catalans are experiencing more intensely the feeling of a 'bad season' at Palau Blaugrana, however, very few focus on the real sources of the problem. Hoopfellas sheds light to the Barcelona situation. Once the Egyptians built pyramids.... [read more]
You've lost that lovin' feelin'..
By Dimitris Katsionis on 13 February 2017
The greatest triumphs of propaganda have been achieved not by acting, but by omitting. Truth is important, but, from a practical viewpoint, hiding the truth is even more so.The Catalans are experiencing more intensely the feeling of a 'bad season' at Palau Blaugrana, however, very few focus on the real sources of the problem. Hoopfellas sheds light to the Barcelona situation.
Once the Egyptians built pyramids. The Greeks built the Parthenon. Europeans built their amazing cathedrals during the Middle Ages. The Americans built their incredible skyscrapers. Coach Bartsokas built Euroleague basketball rosters..
Today, after a season at Krasnodar, where he got extremely close to a triumph , he feels doubt knocking on his door in a situation that is his dream job. Barcelona's performance in the previous Euroleague game (before last night's 92-72 against Manresa) against Galata was not just a bad night, nor a bad gameplan from the coaching staff, or the players' failure to execute that plan. The problem is deeper. Barcelona is 'ill' and have been dragging their illness within a toxic (for them) situation for quite some time now. At this point the people's reactions have put more pressure on everyone, from the front office to the last person in the coaching staff. What is really happening though? Is this unnatural or realistic?
Great changes: In order to build, you have to dismantle...
George Bartsokas beat Barcelona last year and did not allow them to get to the Final 4. Barcelona had many problems in areas they used to be strong: defence and rebounding. At the same time, there was a strong feeling of wanting something fresh, a change that would regenerate the cells of the basketball section at Palau Blaugrana. The 52 year old coach was deemed the most appropriate person to improve the team in these areas aiming to change their character in the second half of the season and the title games. We have pointed out the coach's effort to change the nature of Barcelona's defence under the guidance of coach Bartsokas, and it is obvious that there is an intention to give the team a more aggressive character and bring another culture to Palau Blaugrana. They would not be an artistic team, but a fighting team. However, in the 'city of artists' the culture the coach was bringing with him is not a radical change, but a painful shock on Barcelona's basketball section, which is used to other norms. This is a complex procedure that takes time. On one hand, the team's ability to add players and satisfy what the coach wants has been a matter of discussion, but, on the other hand it is not easy for a coach to do what he has in mind, when there is already a 9 player roster when he joins the team, especially if these players have entirely different ideals. Last year at Krasnodar, he chose 5 out of the 7 core players of the team in another situation altogether.
Good thinking, bad placement.
Tyrece Rice is an experienced player. He is one of the very few guards that can take over the game and bring their opponent to their knees when he starts his engines. The F4 in Milan gave him the contract -if not the label -of a proven winner. The American guard played excellent basketball at Moscow, where together with Petteri Coponen, they were the Khimki's driving force, as they are two guards that are excellent in creating for their teammates and execute through personal plays. The fun to watch offense of Khimki, looked like a train which goes in the rights track with these guards. Correct... Coach Bartsokas invested in this image, and the chemistry these two players had developed, and he believed that he would be able to count on them for the new Barcelona offense. The screenplay's adaptation to the cinema was not that simple and it was presented with certain difficulties.
Both David Blatt's Maccabi and Khimki were a completely different environment from the one coach Bartsokas is trying to establish in Barcelona since last summer. They have major differences to what this year's Barcelona is playing; this is not turning a page, but altering the book altogether. Rimas Kurtinaitis' Khimki was methodically one of the best-structured offences in Europe. They relied on the principle 'the ball travels faster than a pair of feet' and built an offence which was, without a hint of exaggeration, a mixture of Passing-Spacing & Movement, like the one Brose is playing today in half court and the fast pace of CSKA, playing in a high tempo and relying on Rice's ability to make the fast break in conjunction with the ability of his teammates to run the court 'together' (top in deploying). All the players that went to the Moscow region that year were chosen to serve a specific purpose in Kurtinaitis' plan. Big guys such as Augustine, Paul Davis, Monya, Loncar, floor spacers such as KC Rivers-Fridzon, playmakers with the ability to both create and execute (Sved, Koponen, Rice). Clearly a different environment both competitively and emotionally (in regards to pressure and expectations)
This year, Rice is asked to function in a different environment, which does not stress his main skills. He has less chances to run and create in the open court, whereas in set basketball, poor spacing (especially since Tomic's performance is in free fall) and the increased amount of turnovers (derived from the fact that the players have not yet learned to function together and play next to each other). The American does not have the final step of Mike James in order to get to the rim. He is, however, extremely agile in the open court, even when he does not score. After Renfroe was added, and following the nights where Rice's wreckage hit rock bottom, as Barcelona completely depended on him in the final minutes of the games, I was convinced that the coach would try the guard pair of Renfroe-Koponen in the starting unit, which can put more pressure on the ball and maybe circulate the ball faster in half court. We did not see that happen. Maybe (just maybe) the coach should process the idea of giving Rice a 6th player role, without decreasing his playing time.
Post Presence What..?
It's a fact that coach George Bartsokas' strengths were never associated with the creation of a very effective diverse offence. He had never showed anything complex in this part, and he was never an offensive minded guru who would build an offense that would open one door after the other, where movement would be harmonious and would have deep roots of fundamentals. He relies more on the release of offensive energy through defence, in the exemplary execution of situations in the weak side or the PnR and mainly on the individual ability of his players, who preferably should 'be able to shoot and pass properly'. Compared to the previous regime at Barcelona, his offensive philosophy represents a simpler, more direct approach, which is faster to learn. How easy is it, when the ground where you intend to sow is not fertile...?
In Barcelona, the fans and mainly the athletes themselves are used to a totally different competitive context. They are used to watch a good offense that is based on certain principles and teams that execute quickly both in the open court and half court. It is written in their DNA 'quality team offense and the player's individual talent becomes part of the team '. They like artists, not macho fighters. The change in what they are watching is a 'poor image' of this 'poor' period and this is what concerns them the most. Before the ... goodbye waving, especially at a time when Barcelona was having players come back from injuries and showed signs of a comeback, I had pointed out that their limited offense is what bothers more in Barcelona, not the bad results for a crowd that is used to (and demands) to see a good show. This is of course subjective. This is my two cents, for what they're worth. A good show may mean hustle plays, passion, simple albeit correct cooperations. The answer always varies depending on the mentality of the crowd and the identity the organisation has established.
Barcelona 2015-16 Barcelona 2016-17 70.3 PACE 68.9 111,0 OFF RATING 105,0 53.8 eFG% 52.2 105,3 DEF RATING 110.2
These numbers are not listed to compare the work of a coach that is on the bench for almost a decade to a coach that replaced him a few months ago, but to show the difference of how an average fan of the Catalan team sees it (in regards to what is offered). Coach Bartsokas has almost never effectively worked with Post-5s like Tomic. He got to a city and a situation where the team relied on a Heavy Post Offence in order to establish their offensive production and he knew that he would face certain difficulties in order to change things. The simpler, less complicated and with fewer offensive abilities roster of Krasnodar is not the same as the one he found in Barcelona, where there are many good scorers (without athleticism, not the most physical players and not the best defenders) and certain offensive characteristics, which he was expected to combine properly, mix all these ingredients and make a good dish. So, when your offensive philosophy is connected with certain situations and is not versatile, it is not easy to absorb all these characteristics and find an active role for all the players in your offense. It is much more difficult than in cases where you have two or three scorers and a few soldiers to support them and secure them by playing in a certain way with roles being clear.
Lack of athleticism and 'thirst'...
Last year,Barcelona showed signs of concern in areas that used to be the pillars of their game, such as defence and rebounding, and, as we pointed out earlier, the coach's resume would guarantee improvement in certain areas, which in title matches (especially in the Euroleague) are essential. However...
For coach Bartsokas this offseason there was the problem that he found players that were important for the organisation, who:
-most of them did not have the 'thirst' to go for the top, being over the hill in their carriers AND
-their presence required minutes that had their offensive, not their defensive performance as a point of reference.
The 'four Spanish players' rule 'tightened the rope' around the Catalan team's neck; they paid more than he was worth for Claver, they lost early the facilitator, Ribas, who provided balance for their backcourt and they were forced to rely (yet again and again and again) on the pair of Navaro-Oleson (36 and 33 years old). Under normal circumstances each of the former stars of the team (Navaro is the team itself, not just a star...) would play the role of the fifth guard in this year's backcourt, where La Bomba plays for 16 minutes and Oleason for 21.9 minutes, with everything that comes with that.
For Barcelona, in the competitive part (in the financial there was a profit) the fact that they lost two players like Satoranski and Abrines, who crossed over the Atlantic last year, from their backcourt was a great loss. Their absence left a great void in the physical/athletic package and the freshness they brought to the backcourt, and that void was never covered. Two guards that brought size, pace, defensive stops and both half court and transition execution, but mainly two players in a great age, away from lacking the 'thirst' of winning and constant recognition. The new day has already come at Palau Blaugrana and it finds Beracelona wearing the same worn-out clothes...
At the same time, the Catalans, much to everyone's surpsise, kept two light 4s with face up game and peripheral execution (Doelman, Vezeknov), while Claver moves to '3' in order to cover the absence of a defensive stopper in a position where the team has a void, which seems to be there on purpose (but wrongfully, as it turns out) and is not covered in order for everyone to fit in the rotation, by playing sometimes Big and sometimes Small, which results in the team not finding their rythm. Barcelona's frontcourt is Soft in the paint, and this is what restricts them from being more physical in their defence and put the pressure by putting their hand on the opponent. Ante Tomic is the tragic figure, like last year for a long while (you do remember our discussion, right?), and his stats in the last 5 Euroleague games are 3.2 points with 6/24 shots (and 7.9 rebounds)... I sincerely don't know if Faverani was the coach's decision, whereas Diagne's return was deemed necessary.
Under these circumstances and taking into account the constant injuries they have had to face so far, it has been difficult to gradually build piece-by-piece a good defence, which was the key for the coach's success last year at Krasnodar. Remember Bartsokas' view on how difficult it is to convince a Russian player to play concentrated defence for 40 minutes (which was his biggest problem when he got the job in western Russia.
To sum up, gentlemen, the coach is trying to radically change the psyche of this organisation. This is the reason why what we see Barcelona play at this time looks 'ugly'. Weird... If coach Bartsokas can make it and keep his position, he may be able to set the stage for something better, healthier and most of all different from what people are used to see in the next season and focus on ACB for this year. Just remember Fener's basketball in Obradovic's first season in Istanbul to understand the hardships the Greek coach has to face in order to establish his own competitive principles in an environment with a different culture. It won't be easy. However, every radical change, especially in an organisation with tradition, a certain basketball identity, is a difficult task. Nevertheless, seeing a Greek coach being at the head of the 'legend' of Catalonia is important. Coach, I hope (and secretly expect) that this time you will not 'be the change you want to see'.
Brose Baskets extend deal with Nikolaos Zisis - 5 days ago
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2019. Nikolaos Zisis joined Bamberg back in 2015. He averages 7.7 points, 4.5 assists and 1.9 rebounds per game in EuroLeague. In BBL Zisis notches 8.1 points, 2.1 rebounds and 3.7 assists per appearance. Nikolaos Zisis has been the member of the Greek National Team since 2002. [read more]
Nikolaos Zisis and Brose Baskets have agreed on terms of contract extension. The Greek guard will stay with the German champions through 2019. Nikolaos Zisis joined Bamberg back in 2015. He averages 7.7 points, 4.5 assists and 1.9 rebounds per game in EuroLeague. In BBL Zisis notches 8.1 points, 2.1 rebounds and 3.7 assists per appearance. Nikolaos Zisis has been the member of the Greek National Team since 2002.
Spanoulis out two weeks for Olympiacos - 5 days ago
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Olympiacos Piraeus has confirmed that team captain Vassilis Spanoulis(193-SG-82, agency: BeoBasket) will miss the next two weeks with an injury. The three-time Final Four MVP was hurt in a domestic league game on Monday and underwent an MRI on Tuesday that showed an adductor adductor strain in his right thigh. With his recovery expected to last 15 days, Spanoulis will miss at least his team's Game of the Week showdown on February 23 at Fenerbahce Istanbul. Olympiacos must travel again one... [read more]
Olympiacos Piraeus has confirmed that team captain Vassilis Spanoulis (193-SG-82, agency: BeoBasket) will miss the next two weeks with an injury. The three-time Final Four MVP was hurt in a domestic league game on Monday and underwent an MRI on Tuesday that showed an adductor adductor strain in his right thigh. With his recovery expected to last 15 days, Spanoulis will miss at least his team's Game of the Week showdown on February 23 at Fenerbahce Istanbul. Olympiacos must travel again one week later to face Maccabi FOX Tel Aviv, a game for which Spanoulis is now considered questionable. Olympiacos has been one of the hottest teams in the competition, winning 11 of its last 13 to climb into third place. Of its remaining eight games, Olympiacos plays five on the road, among them fourth-place Fenerbahce, second-place CSKA Moscow and sixth-place Crvena Zvezda mts Belgrade. Courtesy of: euroleague.net
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